Saturday, June 18, 2011


BreathlessBreathless by Dean Koontz

My rating: 3 of 5 stars

I love the way Dean Koontz develops characters. There are the ones he gives endearing and quirky characteristics that you can love and identify with. And there are the creepy ones that make you afraid to check under the bed. He throws in a dog to make you feel safe and sure that nothing really bad is going to happen to the good people. And there are the questionable characters. You don't know if they are a threat or if they will come to the rescue.

Breathless has all those elements. It's the characters that kept me reading. But in the end, I'm saying, "What was that all about?"

There are some authors that can weave a story that keeps you turning pages, so that in the end you say, "Oh that's what that was about." And you start processing the clues that you missed, and that story stays with you for a long time...the puzzle coming into place.

Not so with Breathless. I give it 3 stars for keeping me engaged.

View all my reviews

Monday, June 13, 2011


On Saturday I participated in the Susan G Komen Race for the Cure, in Raleigh. I did the 5K recreational run. The day started out with temperatures in the 70's, and the air was muggy. It was a good day. The Five Kilometers (~3 miles) turned into 6 miles when we added the walk from the Lincolnville AME Church van to the buses provided at the RBC Center, plus the walk from the drop off at the rear of Meredith College to the start of the race on Hillsborough Street...and back.

The course took us east on Hillsborough Street, then into the neighborhood north of Hillsborough. The neighbors were out on their porches or lawns, cheering us on. Many had their sprinklers turned to the street so that we could get a little bit of a cooling off. There were cheering teams at every turn, and water stations at each mile post. The Lincolnville YPD finish much ahead of us Senior citizens.

When people talk about breast cancer "survivors," they typically refer to people who have had breast cancer, have been through treatment, and are still alive to talk about it. There were many such survivors participating in the race. Some were in the competitive run, some in the recreational run, and we passed a few sitting on the porch in the neighborhood we passed.

I call myself a survivor in another sense. My mother died of breast cancer when I was twelve years old. I survived getting through life, motherless, making many decisions on my own. Some good decisions, some bad decisions, but I survived.

In those days, people talked only in whispers about cancer. It was as if you could catch it just by saying the word. Treatment was limited to radical mastectomy and radiation. We have come a long way in early detection and treatment. I ran on Saturday in memory of my mother, Georgia Gordon.

The books are not closed yet on the fundraising for Susan G. Komen Race for the Cure. You can still donate by clicking here.

Where do the funds go?

• 75% of net funds are invested locally to fund education, screening and treatment programs.

• 25% of net funds are dedicated to research and finding the cure(s) for breast cancer.

• Last year, with the help of our supporters, more than 40,000 North Carolinians were directly impacted by Komen NC Triangle community health grants.

Thursday, June 9, 2011

The Girl Who Kicked the Hornet's Nest

The Girl Who Kicked the Hornet's Nest (Millennium, #3)The Girl Who Kicked the Hornet's Nest by Stieg Larsson

My rating: 3 of 5 stars

I finally finished the third and last installment of Stieg Larsson's Millennium trilogy. I finished the second book four months ago just before the big New York publisher's started the "Agency Pricing" agreement that keeps the price of e-books higher than paperback in many cases.

I had bought the first two e-books in the series for my Kindle at roughly $5 and $7 respectively, so when the last one was raised to $12.99, I balked. I decided to do my own protest by purchasing a Kobo e-book (reduced at a Borders Book Store going out of business), and getting in the queue for the e-book from the library. That was January. It took until the end of May before my number came up.

The third book is missing the element that drew me into the series in the first place. Namely Lisbeth Salander. (Spoiler alert, maybe) At the end of book two, she had been shot in the head, shoulder, hip; buried and left for dead. Then she dug her way out and in a final stroke hit her evil father in the head with an axe. My kind of girl!! But really, it's that determination, and kick-butt attitude that sucked me into reading these thrillers.

The third book begins hours later with Salander in the hospital still alive, where she remains until she can go on trial for murder of three other people and attempted murder of her father. So for half of the book, she can't kick butt. But of course I have to read on to see how she gets out of the mess.

I had gotten used to the abundance of Swedish names of people and places that were often very similar. Nieminen and Niedermann, and everybody is somebody's son or strom. And streets/roads ending with gatan, making for many seven syllable words. Hey, I studied German including a year at the University of Munich. I thought I was used to long names...and umlauts. But I was OK with it for two installments. It seemed that this final book was a convergence of all the people and places from the first two. And throw in some feminine warriors for good measure. I hated that there was no mention of Yaa Asantewaa.

In the end, I was glad it was all over and all loose ends were wrapped up. It was a good thriller with some heart-thumping moments.

View all my reviews

Saturday, June 4, 2011

What had happened wuz...

It all started when I decided to find out why I can't connect my Kindle to my home wireless network. Not that I need to. I'm retired and sit at my PC many hours every day. If I want to shop for books, I do it from my PC and send the ebooks to my Kindle via Whispernet. No muss no fuss.

But you know how those things can nag you when they ought to work. I connected my Kobo reader with no problem, just had not been able to connect the Kindle.

Now here's the wrinkle. We have a secured network. Not only do you need the password to get in, you also have to have your MAC address included in our network access list.

The Kindle has a MAC Address just like all the other devices (iPhones, iPods, smartphones) that come visiting my house and want to use the internet. The Kobo Mac Address is in there. But I noticed something odd about the Kindle Mac Address. All the other MAC Addresses in the list start with 00:, the Kindle starts with 28: and it would not work. Entering the password is a pain in the butt using the Kindle keypad, and I tried it several times.

Today I tried something different. Instead of the starting 28, I changed it to 00. Voila!! I was in. So I could shop Amazon for books.

But you know I had to do something wild. I tried to get to Facebook from my Kindle....yep, I got in. I could see my photo in black & white. Then the thing hung up. The page just sat there. I tried shutting down, but it came back with that Facebook URL showing at the top...everywhere. I could get back in the book I was reading, but that ugly URL was hanging around at the top.

I clicked around until I found RESTART!! YAY, I was saved.

But you know one of these days, I'm going to try it again. This time I'll try Twitter since it doesn't hang up as much as Facebook does anyway. And I was so intrigued by that story from the Japanese earthquake. A young American woman who survived the earthquake, could not get a phone to work to call home. But she had her Kindle, and she Tweeted from her Kindle that she was safe and sound.